Toothaches can be hard for anyone to deal with –– especially kids –– but with the help of safe homemade toothache remedies, they may be able to get some relief until you can get them into your pediatric dentist. Toothaches aren’t scheduled, and like most emergencies, they seem to happen at the worst of times, like when pharmacies that carry toothache remedies for kids are closed, the dentist is unavailable, or you’re far from home on vacation. With the help of a full cupboard or a convenient grocery store, however, relief may be a recipe away.
Common Causes of Toothaches in Children
Kids are going to have growing pains, but that doesn’t mean dental pain should be ignored. It could point to a serious issue that your child’s dentist will need to address. Before choosing the homemade toothache remedies that are best for your child, check their mouth for signs of these common pain causes:
- Cavities, caused by tooth decay and easily corrected with fillings
- Inflammation, signified by red, swollen gums
- Enamel erosion caused by bacteria or acid which exposes the pulp of the tooth
- Bruxism, also known as tooth grinding.
- Periodontitis, a gum infection that causes gums to recede and may lead to tooth loss
- Sinus Pressure, your child may have headaches or complain of a “full” feeling head
Pain Relief, But Not a Cure
There are a few things you need to understand about homemade toothache remedies. These kitchen “cures” are purely for pain relief and do nothing to address the underlying cause of the pain. While that may be fine in the case of minor irritation or jaw soreness that resolves on its own, it’s only a temporary solution for more severe issues; it is imperative that you contact your pediatric dentist whenever your child is experiencing lingering tooth or mouth pain.
Your child’s dentist can identify potential long-term complications. They can also provide fillings, orthodontia, and needed care to help a child’s still developing mouth and teeth grow properly. While the low cost of homemade toothache remedies makes them attractive, relying on them for too long risks further damage to your child’s mouth.
Caution: Every child is different, and some children may have sensitivities to certain ingredients included in these remedies. Do not attempt to use any of the remedies listed below if you believe that your child may have an allergy or other sensitivity to any of the ingredients listed.
Popular Homemade Toothache Remedies
The following remedies and recipes are generally safe for healthy children experiencing a toothache. While some ingredients are more common than others, all are widely available in grocery stores across the country.
The Tried-and-True Saltwater Swish
One of the easiest kitchen tooth pain solutions and perhaps the cheapest of homemade toothache remedies, this is a great go-to as a first step in easing discomfort. Simply take an eight-ounce glass of warm water, neither hot nor cold, and stir in a teaspoon of table salt. It can be swished around the mouth and gargled. Salt has been used as an anti-bacterial cleaner and preservative for millennia, and it works just as well today fighting bacteria in the mouth that can cause infection and irritation.
Power Out Pain With Peppermint
Peppermint is another generally safe traditional pain reliever and one of the yummiest toothache remedies for kids. A freshly used pure peppermint tea bag, once allowed to cool naturally or for a few minutes in a freezer, can be placed between the cheek and gums to provide a pain relieving compress. A few drops of peppermint oil on a cotton ball works just as well, but avoid peppermint extract due to the extremely high alcohol content which can cause irritation or, in the case of children with sensitivity to alcohol, seizures.
Garlic Breath Is Good For Some Things
There’s no way around this: most kids will not like this remedy, but it’s effective. Garlic is known for its general health benefits, including its antibacterial properties. That makes it perfect for irritation that may be due to infection. Simply mash up a clove or two of garlic (and a pinch of salt if desired), making a paste. Use a cotton swab to spread this paste on the affected tooth.
Careful With The Cloves
Cloves are popular among homemade toothache remedies for adults, and they can work for kids too –– but use caution. The active ingredient that makes them a great pain reliever, eugenol, when used too often or in too high of a concentration can make pain worse and even damage nerves. That being said, a few drops of clove oil on a cotton swab should help children suffering from a severe toothache. Never use whole cloves, ground cloves, or keep the cotton swab in place for more than a few minutes.
Additional Measures To Take
In addition to the above homemade toothache remedies, age-appropriate, over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, such as children’s ibuprofen, can help reduce swelling and inflammation that causes some toothaches. Additionally, a warm or cold compress made from moist towels against the cheek could help alleviate jaw soreness.
Contact your pediatric dentist immediately if your child has persistent pain. At Children’s Dentistry, we have multiple locations throughout the Greater Las Vegas area with a talented team of dental professionals ready to welcome your family to our practice. Find the location nearest you and schedule your appointment!